Baseball League for Autistic, Special Needs Adults Looking for Coaches to Start Northern Michigan League

A baseball league for autistic and special needs players wants to bring America’s past time to Northern Michigan.Screen Shot 2020 07 03 At 4.24.42 Pm

Alternative Baseball already has 36 leagues across the country. Now, they’re looking for volunteers and coaches to bring their life changing league to the Traverse City-Cadillac area.

“I call it a baseball experience because it’s so much more than what takes place on the field,” said 24-year-old founder Taylor Duncan.

Duncan started the first team in his native Georgia and the league has grown ever since, with teams from Arizona to New York.

He invites special needs and autistic players 15 and up to join. They play seven inning games under official MLB rules. It’s just like a regular baseball game, except they use modified, softer baseballs.

Now, he needs Northern Michigan based coaches and mentors to step up to the plate to get the local program off the ground.

“We need to find the coach-manager, we can’t we can’t go any further until we find that coach in the area,” said Duncan.

Duncan himself is on the spectrum, and growing up, he was counted out at school. When he played baseball for the first time in sixth grade, everything clicked.

“I always felt like I was out of place with people because I was different than everybody else,” he said. “[Baseball] boosted to my confidence, and it was a it was a great bright spot for me to be able to be on a team experience.”

But his career was cut short when a new coach started a competitive travel team, and didn’t think Duncan could keep up.

“He deemed me as too much of an injury risk to participate because this perception of autism diagnosis,” said Duncan. “We are capable of the same things as everyone else, we just need to be given the opportunity to show what we can do.”

Four years ago, he started Alternative Baseball.

“We welcome everybody regardless of skill level. We want to help make them into much more productive members of society.”

The games are not about balls and strikes, but learning to step back up to the plate, if you strike out.

Again, they need coaches, mentors and volunteers to start their Northern Michigan league.

Because of coronavirus, the season wouldn’t start until Spring 2021.

If you want to help, visit www.AlternativeBaseball.org